Plants

25 Plants for Shady Container Gardens

Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)Many balcony container gardens are shady due to large trees, other buildings, awnings covering the balcony, and walls on either side of the balcony. Full sun allows for a wide range of gorgeous bloomers and full growth of vegetables, but all is not lost with shady balcony container gardens. You just have to know how to successfully plant a container garden in the shade, and you too can have a beautiful and lush garden. Here are 25 container plants that will do well in shadier container gardens. To learn more tips about planting on a shady balcony container garden, read “Tips for 4 Types of Shady Balcony Sites.”

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How to Grow and Care for the Bougainvillea Plant in Containers

Bougainvillea plant pot trellis

Intro: Because the bougainvillea plant is salt-tolerant, drought-resistant and survives in warm climates, it is commonly seen in warm coastal areas, such as southern California. Bougainvillea does well in larger plant containers on sunny balcony gardens, and they provide vertical interest to a small garden when grown up a trellis. Its heart-shaped leaves come in a variety of colors, including white, pink, orange and purple. There are many varieties of bougainvillea, including variegated and double-flowered cultivars. This plant will bring a splash of color to your balcony garden.

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How to Grow and Care for the Sensitive Plant in Containers

Sensitive plant

Intro: Also called touch-me-not and many other common names, the sensitive plant (Mimosa pudica) is from South America and southern Central America. Mimosa pudica is a fascinating plant to keep in a balcony garden because it can move. Like the more famous Venus fly traps, the sensitive plant responds to touch.

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How to Grow and Care for the Jelly Bean Plant in Containers

Sedum rubrotinctum succulent cactus

Intro: The jelly bean plant, also called pork and beans, is an interesting succulent plant that displays jelly beanlike leaves. In the summertime its leaves change from green to bright red, and it bears yellow flowers in the springtime. This colorful succulent does best in hot, sunny apartment balcony gardens and will look best as a “ground cover” in plant containers underneath tall plants with a small footprint, such as a jade plant pruned to look like a tree. The jelly bean plant will also look stunning in a short, squat container set on a table or in a hanging window frame-like plant container.

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How to Grow and Care for Sunflowers in Containers

Container plant sunflower

Intro: Ten-foot giant sunflowers really can be grown in plant containers (even in small 3-gallon nursery pots). These beautiful native American flowers must be planted in full sun, or they can topple over while trying to reach sun. But growing these beauties in your balcony container garden will attract attention from the people in your neighborhood, as well as a lot of wildlife. The sunflower's floret patterns (what eventually turn into seeds) are displayed on the circular flower head in an amazing spiral pattern. This, in addition to making a beautiful flower display, ensures that the most seeds are crammed into the sunflower's flower head as possible.

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